Technical Articles

How long is ISO 17025 valid for?

ISO/IEC 17025 is an internationally recognized standard that specifies the general requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories. This standard plays a crucial role in ensuring the accuracy and reliability of laboratory testing results. However, one question often arises among organizations and professionals implementing ISO 17025: how long is it valid for?

The role of accreditation bodies

Accreditation bodies are responsible for assessing and issuing accreditations to testing and calibration laboratories. These bodies play a significant role in determining the validity of ISO 17025. Generally, accreditations issue a validity period, commonly ranging from two to five years. During this period, accredited laboratories must undergo regular assessments and audits conducted by accreditation bodies to maintain their accreditation status.

Factors affecting validity

The validity of ISO 17025 can be influenced by several factors. Firstly, changes in standards or regulations might require laboratories to update their practices to comply with the revised requirements. In such cases, re-accreditation may be necessary. Additionally, significant changes to the laboratory's scope of testing (e.g., new methods, equipment, or environmental conditions) can impact the validity of ISO 17025, as these changes may require reassessment by the accreditation body.

Sustaining compliance and continuous improvement

To sustain compliance with ISO 17025 and ensure continual improvement, laboratories must establish and maintain a robust quality management system. This includes conducting regular internal audits, participating in proficiency testing, addressing non-conformities, and implementing corrective actions. By doing so, laboratories can demonstrate their commitment to quality, enhance customer confidence, and maintain the validity of ISO 17025 beyond the accreditation period.


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